Ambrogio Traversari, also referred to as Ambrose of Camaldoli (1386 – 20 October 1439), was an Italian monk and theologian who was a prime supporter of the papal cause in the 15th century. He is honored as a saint by the Camaldolese Order.
|Bust of Traversari in the sacristy cloister of the|
Church of St. Mary of the Angels, Florence, Italy
|Scholar, theologian and saint|
Prior General of the Camaldolese Order
Portico di Romagna,
Forlì, Papal States
|Died||20 October 1439|
Florence, Republic of Florence
|Venerated in||Roman Catholic Church|
Traversari was born near Forlì, in the village of Portico di Romagna in 1386. At the age of 14 he entered the Camaldolese Order in the Monastery of St. Mary of the Angels in Florence, and rapidly became a leading theologian and Hellenist.
Ambrose emerged as a leading advocate of papal primacy. This attitude he showed clearly when he attended the Council of Basel as legate of Pope Eugene IV and defended the primacy of the pope, adjuring the council not to “rend asunder Christ’s seamless robe”.
So strong was Ambrose’s hostility to some of the delegates that he described Basel as a western Babylon. He likewise supported the pope at Ferrara and Florence, and worked hard in the attempt to reconcile the Eastern and Western Churches.
But in this council, and later, in that of Florence, Ambrose, by his efforts and charity toward some poor Greek bishops, greatly helped to bring about a union of the two Churches, the decree for which, 6 July 1439, he was called on to draw up.
According to the author of his biography in the eleventh edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica: “Ambrose is interesting as typical of the new humanism which was growing up within the church.
Thus while among his own colleagues he seemed merely a hypocritical and arrogant priest, in his relations with his brother humanists, such as Cosimo de’ Medici, he appeared as the student of classical antiquities and especially of Greek theological authors”.
He also translated from Greek into Latin a life of John Chrysostom (Venice, 1533); the Spiritual Wisdom of John Moschus; The Ladder of Divine Ascent of John Climacus (Venice, 1531), P.G., LXXXVIII.
He also translated four books against the errors of the Greeks, by Manuel Kalekas, Patriarch of Constantinople, a Dominican friar (Ingolstadt, 1608), P.G., CLII, col. 13-661, a work known only through Ambrose’s translation.
He also translated many homilies of John Chrysostom; the writings of Dionysius Areopagita (1436); Basil of Caesarea‘s treatise on virginity; thirty-nine discourses of Ephrem the Syrian, and many other works of the Fathers and writers of the Greek Church.
Selected works:
- Hodoeporicon, diary of a journey visiting the monasteries of Italy
- Epistolarium, correspondence
- translations of
A number of his manuscripts remain in the library of Saint Mark in Venice.
See Also Ambrose
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f Chisholm 1911.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Becket 1913.
- ^ In his 1498 edition of these works, Jacques LeFèvre d’Étaples praised them as “The most holy works of the divine Dionysius the Areopagite, of such worth and excellence that no praise in words can hope to equal” (sacratissima opera tanta excellentie dignitate eminentia ut commendationis eorum nullus unquam verbis valeat assequi summam) Jacobus Faber Stapulensis piis lectoribus, Theologia Vivificans; cibus solidus, 1498. 
- ^ Jump up to:a b Drane, Augusta Theodosia. Christian Schools and Scholars, Burns and Oates, 1881, p. 602
- Credit goes to
- – Ambrose the Camaldulian, Italian theologian